Seatrade Maritime is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Intercargo adds voice to liquefaction warnings following Bulk Jupiter sinking

Intercargo adds voice to liquefaction warnings following Bulk Jupiter sinking
Intercargo has repeated its concerns over the dangers liquefaction of bulk cargoes following the sinking of the Bulk Jupiter off Vietnam with the loss of 18 seafarers.

The Bulk Jupiter was carrying a cargo of bauxite loaded in Kuantan, Malaysia, which is believed to have liquefied due to the heavy monsoon rains experienced in December, caused the vessel to capsize and sink.

“The recent capsize and sinking of the Bahamas flag Bulk Jupiter in the opening days of January, with the loss of 18 of its 19 crew, may again prove to be yet another casualty statistic in the long list of bulk carrier losses caused by cargo liquefaction,” Intercargo said.

Intercargo warned shipowners, operators and charterers should exercise extreme care when dealing with any cargo that has the potential to liquefy. It noted the association had been informed that some, if not all shipowners, had suspended the loading of bauxite cargoes from Kuantan with tests indicating cargoes were unsafe to load, and that one cargo that was carried was discharged at port in a liquefied condition.

Last week saw many P&I insurers issue warnings on bauxite liquefaction following the Bulk Jupiter casualty.

“Port states have an obligation to ensure that the condition of cargoes they permit to be loaded in their ports are safe for carriage.  There is no doubt that if this obligation was strictly adhered to by all port states through consistent implementation by competent authorities, the risk to bulk shipping would be greatly reduced,” said David Tongue secretary-general of Intercargo.

The association said that on 12 January together with the International Group of P&I Clubs met with the Maritime Attaché, Alternate Permanent Representative of Malaysia to IMO, for dialogue in an effort to help ensure all future solid bulk cargoes from Malaysian ports are verified safe to ship.